The pork marches on, in the NASA budget. I discuss this in a blog post at the Washington Examiner today.
[Update a few minutes later]
Here’s more at the Taxpayer Protection Alliance:
it looks like at least two NASA earmarks have made their way into the continuing resolution. On pages 214-215 of H.R. 1473 (the continuing resolution) there is language that states, “Of the amounts appropriated by this division for ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Exploration’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the multipurpose crew vehicle to continue existing vehicle development activities to meet the requirements described in paragraph (a)(1) of section 303 of Public Law 111-267, and not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy lift launch vehicle system which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously.”
This is important because Congress made a pledge of no earmarks and these particular earmarks would be used to salvage the Constellation Program that the President has tried to cancel.
The President signed into law legislation cancelling major components (the Ares I Rocket) of the Constellation program in 2010. But, because of a provision in NASA’s fiscal year (FY) 2010 Appropriations Act, NASA will spend an estimated $500 million on the Ares I rocket. On January 2, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “in the last days of last Congress they funded five hundred million dollars for a rocket program at NASA that’s already been shut down. That can’t be too hard to undo.”
Apparently, it’s a lot harder than Congressman Issa thought.
[Update a while later]
Where did the 130 tons come from? It looks like Mike Griffin decided he hadn’t already done enough damage.